Upcycle Glass Bottles into a Garden Border

I love this idea to upcycle glass bottles into a colorful border for a flower garden.

Glass Bottles border flower bed

The next time you get ready to toss a bottle into the recycling bin, you may want to rethink that move.  Save them instead! By burying the tops and leaving the colorful ends exposed, you end up with a beautiful flower bed border. If you are worried the bottles will break due to edging, rest assured they are sturdier than you think!

Glass Bottle Border Close-up

If you don’t regularly buy bottled drinks, you might try using colored glasses you find at Goodwill or yard sales. You should be able to find them for pennies. Or, request bottles from your favorite restaurant. Often times they will allow you to pick them up after a busy weekend night.

However you accumulate your bottles, upcycling them into a garden border can be a fun addition to the garden that is both frugal (maybe even free?) and fun!

Love the idea of upcycling glass bottles? How about trying this project to upcycle apple juice glass bottles or this project to upcycle Starbucks Frappacino glass bottles?

Upcycled glass garden border

Upcycled glass garden border

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  1. I love this idea! And it is beautiful! We don’t buy enough glass bottles either but great thrift store idea! I’d love for you to share this (and other posts as they fit in the future) to a recently new link up, Healthy 2day Wednesdays for sharing tips, going “green” ideas, recipes, natural remedies, etc every week until Saturday evening. Hope you’ll join in! “liked” you on fb!

  2. Thank you Rachel! I hope your new linky does really well. I’ll check it out.

  3. I once seriously considered the feasibility of making a pathway from buried beer bottles with just the bottoms above ground as the walkway surface (DH used to drink a lot of beer). Of course, once I discovered how hard the ground was in the backyard in CO, I abandoned that idea. DH doesn’t drink anymore, so I guess it won’t be happening for me, even if the ground here is softer. 🙂

  4. Hello! I did this earlier in the year (ta da!), with a bit of help from my local Italian restaurant. Their customers get through a lot of wine, as restaurant-goers are wont to do. I asked the manager if he’d mind saving the bottles for a week, which the restaurant very generously did, and I had more than enough. We soaked them overnight in our used bathwater to dislodge the labels and, yea verily, Bob was our uncle.

  5. Oh. I should explain “our used bathwater” lest you think I’m wilfully unsanitary … I live in Melbourne, Australia – a city of approx 5 million people. At the end of 2010, the water in the reservoirs that supply the city only just climbed back to 50% of capacity after 13 years of drought. So every human in our house uses the same bathwater, and then we reuse it as much as possible (watering fruit trees, or de-labling wine bottles and then watering fruit trees, etc).

  6. Hi Alexis, Thanks for visiting the Greenbacks Gal from halfway round the world! I totally get your water usage story. We lived in Jordan for 2 years – the 4th most water-poor country in the world. We got one tank of water a week and when it was gone, it was gone. I think America would really benefit from learning to conserve water better. Nothing like HAVING to conserve to learn the lesson well. And your suggestion for asking a restaurant for the bottles was BRILLIANT! Andrea

  7. Amy, I think your beer bottle path would have been lovely – but you’re right – I never would be able to dig deep enough in this hard soil! I always think I’m going to tackle something in the yard myself (like planting bulbs!) then end up asking my husband to dig the holes. 🙂 There was a suggestion from another reader to ask a restaurant for the empties – so even if your husband doesn’t drink anymore, you might still be able to get free empties!

  8. Thanks, Andrea. (And as for visiting – my pleasure! What a great blog!) Melbourne people have had to go on a bit of a journey to learn how to conserve water; it used to be more plentiful (both because there was a lot more rain from the 1940s-1990s and a lot fewer people living in the city). The tank-a-week situation in Jordan would really have forced you to get creative about re-using water.

  9. We have big community recycling bins here in Maryland. All the bottles you want for free!

  10. That is awesome! That would make this a really doable project.

  11. String lights into the bottles before burying them. That would make a nice lighted border.. tough to change the bulbs though.

  12. I did same thing but now how will i edge withot breaking bottles I have tough creeping st augustine any suggestions on a buffer strip so this wont happen
    I am in florida so mowing season not here yet dry and warm rightnow

  13. I hate to say it….by hand with clippers.

  14. I used my plastic string ryobi weed eater on my glass bottle border No problem no breakage.
    Hooray i love the look and stops the higher level from sliding off in the rain to the lowrr grass

  15. You do? You use a weed eater? That’s fantastic! Thanks for letting me know, Andrea

  16. I can’t wait to do this! Just a few weeks ago I was griping at the amount of bottles we had,yes, they were going to recycling, but surely they could be used for something practical. I can see using these as a border around my raised vegetable beds, and finding another use for the cinderblocks I’m currently using. Much prettier! Thanks for the idea! I also like the beer bottle pathway concept, and can see doing this between the raised beds. Our soil is sandy and would be very easy to implement this idea.

  17. I’m glad I helped you with your bottle abundance! If you do it, please send a picture! I’d love to publish it here if you’d let me. Andrea

  18. Miriam Gaylord says:

    I actually started making a colored bottle border down the side of our acre this Spring. I planted lots of wildflower seeds and a few natural grasses in a 3 foot wide winding path. I lined it with various sized colored bottles. I have a friend who is a distributor for Budweiser and she gives me these amazing cobalt blue bottles…perfect for the sun rays to stream through. Ask around, people love to give you things to recycle.

  19. Miriam, I bet your colored bottle border is coming out beautiful! The cobalt blue color of bottles is my favorite. Andrea

  20. Just found this post via Crafting a Green World. I love the look of this and would be glad to put hubby’s beer bottles to use! I do have a question, though: how do the bottles hold up to having the mower run by them?

  21. Hi Susan, I’m glad you found me! The glass bottles are easier to care for than you’d imagine and hold up to the mower. Hope this helps, Andrea

  22. i have done this in hot and dry texas, just drive a length of rebar into the ground to the height that you want you bottle to stand, toss your bottle on and weedeat away

  23. I’ve done this, but they most certainly will break if a weedeater hits them. I dug all mine up after about the tenth bottle shattered.

  24. Cute idea but not practical with children :/ I am afraid the glass would shatter and end up creating some nasty flesh wounds! Even if the dog were to step on one :/

  25. Melissa says:

    I love this! I’ve been looking everywhere for the perfect stone border… And could find nary a one, and this is so different and… Perfect! Love!

  26. Melissa, I’m so glad the glass bottle border hit your fancy! Let me know how it turns out, Andrea

  27. I want to do this. I live in Midwest. I’m wondering how they react to winter snow & ice. Also, are the bottles left open when or do you seal them in some manner? Seems like if open condensation would build and then cause possible mold inside.

  28. It’s great idea! I’ve done this and it looks gorgeous when the bottles shine through the plants in the garden. I often prefer to keep leftover jars and bottles and turn them into something beautiful. It’s better to recycle and repurpose than overfilling the garbage containers. Greets!


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